Poetry Reading: GABRIEL FRIED "The Children Are Reading"

Event date: 
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Oblong Rhinebeck
6422 Montgomery Street
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

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We find the book left open by the stairs—
salted and wet—no children anywhere.
“Outside Over There”, from The Children Are Reading

Gabriel Fried opens his most recent collection The Children Are Reading with these lines: “Where have the children gone this time? / There they are, behind the house, / standing in a cautious arc / around the flowers we warned them about.” The Children Are Reading inhabits childhood spaces, physical and imaginative, on either side of the emergence of adult awareness, desires, and anxieties—which isn’t to say desires and anxieties don’t exist on the childhood end of the spectrum. In many ways, those are more emphatic, less mitigated in the poems, unconstrained by the delusions and rationalizations of adulthood. The poems are at once bounding toward, admiring of, and anxious about those childhood spaces, sliding back and forth along the continuum of childhood/adulthood on which fears of imaginative spaces crystallize and fluctuate. It would be inaccurate to think of adulthood as the place where wisdom pools in these poems, though it’s in adulthood that some of the fears are reconceived and articulated. Fried shows us that there are powers and wisdoms held in childhood that are lost in adulthood, even with its increased autonomy of one sort or another.

“I know of no contemporary poet who captures the mystery of childhood with as much accuracy, force, and empathy as Gabriel Fried. …I hear Marilynne Robinson’s spiritual questioning here, and Frost’s burnished dread…”—Catherine Barnett

“If you have any doubt about the ominousness of childhood—its fundamental, and often terrifying mysteries—read Gabriel Fried’s The Children Are Reading. Fried ambles through the children’s mythic landscape, which they have inherited from the adults who love them, to produce this haunting meditation….”—Ross Gay

GABRIEL FRIED is the author of Making the New Lamb Take, winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize, which was named a top poetry collection of 2007 by Foreword Reviews and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is also the editor of an anthology, Heart of the Order: Baseball Poems and longtime poetry editor of Persea Books. He teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Missouri.

The Children Are Reading Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781935536949
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Four Way Books - September 5th, 2017

Heart of the Order: Baseball Poems Cover Image
By Gabriel Fried (Editor)
$17.95
ISBN: 9780892554355
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Persea Books - April 5th, 2014

Making the New Lamb Take: Poems Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781932511499
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sarabande Books - May 7th, 2007